WASHINGTON, DC — In a ground breaking move to empower women in Papua New Guinea, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Papua New Guinea Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGWCCI) will establish a Women’s Business Center that provides an array of practical services to businesswomen and to aspiring entrepreneurs of all backgrounds in Port Moresby.
“This is a great opportunity for women in Papua New Guinea to empower and establish themselves in a country that hasn’t been kind to women,” John Morrell, CIPE’s Regional Director for Asia, said today.”
Papua New Guinea ranks among the world’s worst performers in almost every global indicator of gender inequality. According to Human Rights Watch, PNG is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman with some estimates that as high as 70 percent of women experience rape or assault in their lifetime. Women are also excluded from the formal economy, face legal and cultural obstacles to acquiring property or bank loans, and are much less likely to achieve independence or prosperity than women elsewhere in Asia and the Pacific.
The Women’s Business Center is one of three components funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Women Initiative.
“The U.S. Department of State and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has shown great leadership and vision in providing funding and expertise to this project,” Morrell said.
The three components are:
- The Women’s Business Center. The Center will provide a safe and centralized location for women to gain access to vital resources for economic empowerment, and to meet and network with each other. The Business Center will provide child care services so that women with young children are not excluded from this opportunity.
- Integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum of Papua New Guinean universities. This is to help ensure that future generations of prospective businesswomen are equipped with the skills they need to succeed.
- Provide technical assistance to the PNGWCCI, the country’s first and only women’s chamber. The assistance will help empower women to play an increasingly important role in the political and economic life of the country.
CIPE is also partnering with the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan. WDI has the world’s leading experts on entrepreneurship education.
CIPE has worked on women’s economic empowerment in Papua New Guinea since 2013 and helped bring PNGWCCI into existence.